Creamware centerpieces cool off an easy, breezy table.

William Waldron

Editor’s Obsession: Pure and Simple

Senior design editor Hudson Moore makes the case for a perfectly pared-back table.

May 21, 2024

They say that simplicity is the most difficult style to master, and to me, that couldn’t be more true: Without the aid of color or pattern, the importance of good craftsmanship, quality materials, and proper scale becomes even more pronounced. The same goes for entertaining essentials. I’m always on the search for the best pared-back forms—white dishes, simple glassware, and streamlined silver that will last a lifetime. Best of all, they won’t distract from my favorite thing on the table: the food!

  • Layers of white linen, an egg, and a simple white canvas are a perfect composition in this piece by Pier Paolo Calzolari. Natura Morta, 2008.

  • Jim McKinniss takes a common glass vase, an iris flower, and a few small spheres and turns them into a beautiful still life. Iris #2, 2012.

Shop Hudson’s Obsessions

  • Drinking Set No. 238 by Josef Hoffmann for Lobmyer

    This glassware feels perfect in your hand—it’s light as air.

    $99, stillfried.com

  • Sterling Silver Vase by Josef Hoffmann

    I’m a fan of everything Hoffmann-designed, and that includes this perfect vase-slash-basket.

    $3,300, shop.neuegalerie.org

  • Nymphenburg Porcelain Coral Lamp by Ted Muehling

    These lamps hold a votive candle and cast the prettiest light.

    $1,560, tedmuehling.com

  • Lyon Dinner Napkins by Julia B. Casa

    I love the hemstitch detailing on these perfectly simple napkins.

    $350/set of 8, juliab.com

  • Vertigo Silver-Plated Single-Handle Tray by Andrée Putman for Christofle

    There’s a plethora of reasons why you need silver trays on your table, whether at dinner time or not. This will be your go-to for everything from canapés to junk mail.

    $405, christofle.com

  • Aria Dinnerware Collection by Ginori 1735

    Ginori 1735 gets china right, and this collection is no exception. Perfectly pared-down, but with a beautiful inverted detail.

    from $74, ginori1735.com

  • Clear Hurricanes by Henry Dean

    These candleholders are perfect for indoor and outdoor table settings alike!

    $110, marchsf.com

  • London Flatware by David Mellor

    This flatware will last forever and never go out of style.

    From $11, davidmellordesign.com

  • Dinner Service by Donald Judd for Puiforcat

    Another piece of silver dinnerware that’ll become an heirloom.

    Price upon request, puiforcat.com

  • Sophia Roe Deco Bowl

    I was recently turned onto Louise Roe’s work, and I love this collection of glassware. Its natural shape and large scale make a statement.

    $720, louise-roe.com

  • Mother of Pearl Large Caviar Set by Lorenzi Milano

    There’s nothing more chic than caviar—sorry! I want to use this set to serve it alongside crème fraîche and potato chips at every party.

    $650, lorenzi-milano.com

  • Box with Glass Handle by Svenskt Tenn

    It’s meant to be a tea caddy, but I can imagine all the things I could stuff in this little box on my table. It’d be perfect for Splenda.

    $400, svenskttenn.com